At least three people have been killed in weather-related incidents as Tropical Storm Laura passed through the south of the country between Saturday, August 22, and Sunday, August 23, causing flooding, property damage, and power outages. Two of the fatalities occurred in Santo Domingo when a house collapsed, while a further fatality occurred in nearby La Guáyiga. A total of 210 homes have suffered serious damage, including in the Santo Domingo area, and over 1000 people have been evacuated. Over one million customers have also been rendered without power, and some 525,062 users are without water supplies. Heavy rains have caused flooding across the country, with over 120 communities being isolated by floodwaters. Flooding has also been reported along the Majagual and Haina rivers. Although the government has discontinued all tropical storm warnings, heavy rain continues to affect the country.
Tropical Storm Laura moved away from Hispaniola on Sunday and as of 17:00 EDT is positioned to the south of Guantanamo in Cuba as it moves in a northwest direction. Laura is currently sustaining winds of 97kph (60mph) and is expected to bring tropical storm conditions, including heavy rainfall, across Cuba on Sunday as it moves towards the Gulf of Mexico.
Heavy rainfall and associated flooding are possible over the coming days, along with associated disruptions to business and transport.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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